WHERE AND HOW
TO BUY YOUR SHELTIE
As you begin
your search for a sheltie, you will likely find that there are a number of
sources from which a sheltie can be obtained. It is our goal to help you be
an informed sheltie purchaser. The sources that you will likely encounter
are listed below. We have endeavored to objectively assess the different
sources and provide you with helpful information regarding each of them. We
have listed what we consider to be the advantages and disadvantages of
obtaining a sheltie from the different sources.
The term show/hobby breeder refers to a breeder who exhibits their dogs at
dog shows, in either conformation or performance classes, and who does so
mainly as a hobby and not as a business.
Advantages: The experienced
show/hobby breeder will be a breeder who has extensively studied their breed
and is familiar with the breed standard for that breed. They are aware of
any health or genetic problems that might occur in the breed, and they will
have done all the tests possible to insure that their breeding stock is as
free from hereditary problems as is possible. In the sheltie, the tests
that are usually done are: hip X-rays, eye examinations, testing for
carrier status for vWD, and thyroid function. (If you are not familiar with
these tests, the informed show/hobby breeder can explain them to you.)
Also, a dog purchased from a show/hobby breeder is likely to be more “typey”
– that is, to look more like a sheltie should look! In addition, a
knowledgeable show/hobby breeder will be your very best source of
information and education for the life of your dog!
Many show/hobby breeders do not have a large number of litters each year and
you may have to be put on a waiting list to get a puppy from your breeder of
Description is much the same as above, except that a large show/breeding
operation may be a hobby or it may be a business.
The large show breeder will have many more litters a year from which to
Disadvantages: Puppies purchased from a large breeder may
have had somewhat less one-on-one socialization. You will need to ask
questions about the amount of socialization and “house time” that a puppy
SINGLE PET OWNER:
You may see an ad in the newspaper or be referred by a friend to someone who
has a female as a pet and who decided to breed her.
born into a single pet household will usually be very well socialized.
Disadvantages: Pet owners are often not aware of the tests mentioned above
that should be done before breeding their dog. In addition, the puppies may
be less “typey.”
The term “backyard breeder” refers to someone who has a few dogs, usually
one male and two to four females that they occasionally breed. Sometimes
the reason for breeding is to make profit. Sometime it is because the
person is fond of the breed and enjoys having puppies.
Probably none. While a puppy from a backyard breeder may cost less
initially, the puppy may end up costing you more in the long run due to
Like the single pet owner, the backyard breeder may not be aware of
hereditary problems that can occur and therefore does not do the tests to
monitor their breeding stock for those problems.
Puppy mills are places where dogs are raised strictly for profit and no other
reason. Such places are generally filthy. They house huge numbers of dogs and
don’t want to pay for help to keep the kennels and animals clean. The worst
places are nothing more than concentration camps for dogs! If you answer an
ad in the newspaper and go to a place where the dogs are not properly cared
for, the best thing you can do is promptly leave! If you realize that you
have arrived at a puppy mill, do not even get out of your car! You can carry
away disease-causing viruses and bacteria on your clothing or shoes! Many
who have bought a puppy to “rescue” it from a puppy mill, have ended up
spending huge sums of money on veterinary bills only to have the puppy die due
to distemper or some other disease.
Disadvantages: Disease, poor quality, bad temperaments, and
Most puppies offered for sale in pet shops have come from puppy mills!
Reputable breeders do not sell their puppies to pet shops!
See “Puppy Mills” above.
See “Puppy Mills” above.
No matter where you
buy your puppy, you should get a written health guarantee. Any reputable
breeder will be glad to give you one. However, please remember that we are
dealing with living creatures and things can “go wrong” in spite of a
breeders’ best efforts. There are health problems that can occur for which
we do not currently have tests to predetermine a dog’s possibility of carrying
that problem. Any reputable breeder who has sold you a puppy who develops a
hereditary or genetic problem should be willing to work with you to reach a
solution based on their written guarantee.
When talking to
persons from whom you are considering buying a puppy, you will need to ask the
Have the puppies been vaccinated/over
vaccinated? (See our "Recommended Reading" page.)
rear dewclaws been removed? (Rear dewclaws typically have no phalanx
bones and are attached by skin only.)
puppies been wormed or worm checked?
puppies been raised in the house, in a kennel, or in an outside pen?
puppies’ parents been checked for hip dysplasia, vonWillebrands disease,
thyroid function, and eye diseases?
If the proper
tests and treatments have not been done, you should not buy the
We hope the
above will be of help to you in your search for a sheltie! For additional
questions, you may call 636-942-3770.
You may also wish to read AKC's
the Right Breed for Your Lifestyle" as a guide in the purchase of a
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